Review Summary: Burning brighter by the day.
When it comes to many overlooked bands out there, Fight the Fade is one of those that show a lot of potential. Maturing themselves from a typical post-hardcore outfit from their first album Second Horizon
to a more unique alternative rock sound on their more recent self-titled, they've developed a strong impression into the music industry. While they've yet to break into the mainstream like other bands of their ilk, the amount of talent is undeniable. With this now comes their second EP, Masks
, which has the group changing they're style yet again. The self-titled was a much more upbeat and uplifting record, whereas Masks
is almost a complete 180 degree turn. The production and tone of this EP is a lot harsher and heavier than anything the band has done before, and the title track immediately proves that at the start of the record. The songs 'Break the Daylight' and 'Bullet' (the latter of which could almost be influenced by Nine Inch Nails), follow up with the same sound that is established throughout the rest of the record. The only song that breaks up the heavy and dark tone is the atmospheric pop-like song 'Darkness in Me'. The change may be a too drastic for some, but the gorgeous melody prevents it from being a bad song altogether.
However, what makes this such a great EP is that the band manages to find a near-perfect balance between melody and heaviness without ever going completely over the top, as opposed to Starset and Red. However, the center of it all is vocalist Zene Smith. Throughout every release that Fight the Fade has done, he has proven to be one of the best vocalists in alternative rock and this EP is no exception. He delivers an incredible amount of emotion throughout in both his clean vocals and his harsher screams, especially in 'Bullet' and 'Numbness'. The only major problem about Masks
is that while production is the main driving force behind the EP (aside from Zene Smith), the electronic elements feel overmodulated and a bit too forced at times. It prevents any focus on the instrumentation to shine through the whole record and some will certainly find it generic because of this. However, despite that problem, Masks
still ends up being an incredibly solid release from a band with a lot of potential. Mixed with excellent songwriting and Zene Smith's fantastic vocal performance, Fight the Fade is certainly a band to look out for in the near future and this EP sets the standard for a bright future ahead for them.